The Nike TN (Air Max Plus) is gearing up for global dominance. They’re backing up one of last year’s best sneaker collaborations with an onslaught of OG colourways and special edition releases for exclusive markets around the world. Of course, Aussies will be all too familiar with the history behind this sneaker, but for our overseas friends, we thought not was the best time to introduce you to our famous Ntay’s with a list of our favourite colourways of all time. Let’s check them out.
Best Nike TNs at a Glance
Highlights from our list include the following:
- Best overall: Nike Air Max Plus ‘Hyper Blue’
- Rarest Nike TN: Nike Air Max Plus ‘Sunset’
- Most expensive Nike TN: Nike Air Max Plus ‘Rejuvenation’ OG
Now we’ve had a look at our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.
Table of contents
- Best Nike TNs at a Glance
- 1. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Tiger’
- 2. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Hyper Blue’
- 3. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Voltage Purple’
- 4. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Sunset’
- 5. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Supreme’
- 6. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Casper’
- 7. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Lava’
- 8. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Greedy’
- 9. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Rejuvenation’
- 10. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Tide’
- Alternatives to These Nike Air Max Plus
- Why You Should Trust Our List
- Brief History of the Nike TN
- Your FAQs Answered
1. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Tiger’
Price: from AU$500
The TN ‘Tiger’ shares similar colours to the ‘Sunset’ but instead of taking inspiration from the sky it takes it from the tiger. Released back in 1999, it takes the classic TN silhouette and pays homage to one of the fiercest cats in the animal kingdom. The combination of black, orange, and white stripes is the kind of bold statement the TN is made for.
2. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Hyper Blue’
Price: from AU$400
The OG ‘Hyper Blue’ is the pioneer of the Air Max Plus silhouette. Designed by Sean McDowell, it took inspiration from Originally known as “Sky Air,” the design aimed to evoke a sense of fluidity and speed. The distinctive aesthetic, coupled with the groundbreaking ‘Tuned Air’ technology, swiftly gained popularity in urban and street cultures. The ‘Hyper Blue’ captures the Floridian aesthetic that McDowell was striving for. Its gradient upper, transitioning from dark to vibrant blue, was a game-changer for sneaker design – proving a challenge at first, McDowell needed to overcome it for his vision to truly come to life.
3. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Voltage Purple’
Price: from AU$500
First released back in 2018, the ‘Voltage Purple’ is a favourite that has been resurrected to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the TN. With an extra toe cap for added edge and a flat lace system, it’s one of the more detailed TNs you’ll find. The vibrant Voltage Purple upper sports an orange Nike Swoosh logo, and those OG air pods have a slick orange tint. Black laces bring the contrast, and the tongue flaunts a bold orange and black Nike logo.
4. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Sunset’
Price: from AU$1,200
The ‘Sunset’ drop makes the most of its upper, mirroring the hues of a setting sun with its fiery gradient. The colourway is a distinct opposite to the ‘Hyper Blue’ and shows the versatility of the Air Max Plus silhouette. This one was so popular that 25 years later, it’s being re-released as a retro drop this year.
5. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Supreme’
Price: from AU$600
Released as part of Supreme’s ongoing partnership with Nike, this highly sought-after sneaker featured a clean white upper adorned with the iconic Supreme logo in bold red across the lateral side. Keeping Supreme’s colour scheme alive and well, the red accents extend to the Swoosh, adding a pop of colour to the predominantly white canvas. As a highly anticipated and limited release, the Supreme x Nike Air Max Plus ‘White/Red’ captured the attention of sneaker enthusiasts in 2020, marking another successful chapter in the collaborative legacy between Supreme and Nike.
6. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Casper’
Price: from AU$320
The ‘Casper’ gave exactly what it suggested. White as a ghost, it was a simple but sleek release that changed up a few of the details of the TN. White, plush mesh sits below the TPU overlays while the Swoosh is elevated by silver stitching. The best part about these is that the yellow, red and black logo pops even more on a white canvas. Released in 2014, it’s almost impossible to get your hands on a pair of these today.
7. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Lava’
Price: from AU$320
The ‘Lava’ was one of the more striking releases going back to the sort of bold, fiery aesthetics that defined the early TN releases. Characterized by an all-red-colour palette reminiscent of molten lava, the upper showcases its defining colour across both mesh and TPU overlays. The ‘Lava’ was almost recreated in 2021 as ‘University Red Chile Red’ which was also dominated by a red colourway and was another hugely popular release.
8. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Greedy’
Price: from AU$550
Released in 2018 to mark the TN’s 20th anniversary, the Nike Air Max Plus ‘Greedy’ pays homage to its storied past. Aptly named, this edition blends iconic colourways, featuring a mix of the OG ‘Hyper Blue’ and ‘Sunset’ releases—the upper gradient transitions between bold blues, warm oranges, and deep purples. By paying homage to the past on the anniversary of the shoe, this release became a sought-after one for not only TN fans but Nike fans at large so much so that re-sale prices can go as high as $2,000.
9. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Rejuvenation’
Price: from AU$400
The TN ‘Rejuvenation’, released in 2006, was a multi-textile take on the silhouette packed with plenty of details. Bringing together a green and black motif, it’s carried across an upper that puts mesh below the TPU overlays. The gradient, which often sits below the overlays, is brought to life on the overlays this time, giving a certain sci-fi feel to the shoe. A black and green pattern on the midsole pulls it all together. Finding a fresh pair of these is like finding a needle in a haystack, one-in-a-million.
10. Nike Air Max Plus ‘Tide’
Price: from AU$375
We’re rounding this out with a release that was actually an Australian exclusive but has since become a collector’s favourite. Its distinctive sky blue, red, and white tones was an immediate winner. The placement of the colours was perfection too with the white and blue gradient adding a certain subtlety to the upper while a red accent on the mid-sole drew immediate attention. Australia got two other exclusives in 2014 too, ‘Sunburn’ and ‘Dream’, making the country a hotspot for TN enthusiasts.
Alternatives to These Nike Air Max Plus
If the colourways above aren’t your style, check out these releases below where you’ll find some more affordable options and OG colourways:
- Nike Air Max Plus ‘Triple Black’ (from AU$200): While we prefer the coloured counterparts, there’s no denying the versatility of a triple black colourway. These TNs are best paired with black jogger pants and a black hoodie for an under-the-radar outfit.
- Nike Air Max Plus ‘Tiffany’ (from AU$700): Correctly referred to as ‘Aqua Blue’ the ‘Tiffany’ Nike TNs are classic and sought-after with a secondary market price of more than $700. They released in 2021 and haven’t been seen again so don’t expect restocks anytime soon. The colourway is not an official collab with Tiffany, however, they still look the part with that classic blue hue.
- Nike Air Max Plus ‘Bleached Aqua’ (from AU$1,400): One of the most expensive Nike TNs on the market, the ‘Bleached Aqua’ colourway was released as a special edition in women’s sizes only on New Year’s Day 2018. They’ve become a favourite for their gradient upper with contrasting white outsole, midsole, and cage.
Why You Should Trust Our List
Sam Murphy is a sneaker aficionado with more than 5 years of experience writing about sneakers and sneaker culture. He’s been an avid collector since the early 2010s and has a deep understanding of the landscape, trends, and historical releases. He’s watched the Nike TN go in and out of fashion, picking up different audiences with each return. If you’re a fan of this list, he also writes Man Of Many’s fortnightly Sneaker News column which covers the releases you need to know about each week.
Brief History of the Nike TN
The Nike Air Max Plus TN is a sneaker that has stood the test of time as a Nike favourite since its inception in 1998. With its distinctive wavy upper, TPU overlays, and Tuned Air technology, the TN made an immediate impact in the sneaker world, gaining popularity as an everyday sneaker that has also become a collector’s item. More than 25 years later, it continues to capture the attention of sneakerheads thanks to a versatile silhouette that looks good painted with almost anything.
Its blend of groundbreaking design and a fearless approach to colourways has opened it up to collaborations and striking releases, many of which have been resurrected from the vault years later. Here, we delve into the most impressive Air Max Plus TNs of all time from its inception with Sean McDowell’s ‘Hyper Blue’ to collaborations with Supreme, scoping the globe for the TNs that have captured the most attention since 1998.
Why It’s a Cultural Icon in Australia
Initially met with scepticism and commanding a hefty price tag, the TNs found a niche audience in Australia. They were first adopted by an eclectic mix of people ranging from ravers to those operating in Australia’s underbelly. The TN particularly has defined streetwear culture in Sydney’s Greater West where it became synonymous with lad culture and ‘eshays’ who wanted to wear the most expensive new Nike sneaker they could get their hands on.
In 2013, the sneaker was revived with new colourways for its 15th anniversary. It faced a cultural renaissance that springboarded the once underground classic into the mainstream. Initially ridiculed, TNs transformed from forbidden fruit to a coveted fashion statement. No longer a statement of Australia’s underbelly, the TN became has become a fashion mainstay that can be worn by anyone from anywhere.
Your FAQs Answered
The “TN” in Nike TN stands for “Tuned,” specifically referring to the Tuned Air technology used in the Air Max Plus TN series. Tuned Air is a proprietary cushioning system developed by Nike that incorporates individual pods of hemispheres, allowing for targeted support and cushioning in different areas of the foot.
Beginning as a staple of Australia’s underground, the TN rose to prominence in the 2010s in Australia after it faced a resurgence that saw it rise from a symbol of the Australian lad to a genuine fashion statement.
The terms “Nike TN” and “Air Max Plus” are often used interchangeably, as the Air Max Plus is commonly referred to as the “TN” due to the Tuned Air technology it features. However, it’s essential to clarify that “Nike TN” is a more general term that encompasses various Nike models with Tuned Air cushioning, while “Air Max Plus” specifically refers to a particular model within the TN family.
The TNs bright, bold and striking aesthetic seemed to strike a cord with “lad” or “eshay” culture in Australia in the 2000s. Its notoriety spread as the shoes became synonymous with crime and trouble due to several extreme stories of shoe theft that made mainstream media in the early 2010s. So much so that several Australian venues have banned patrons from wearing TNs.
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